Aust stocks hold gains at noon

The local market has held on to strong early gains following encouraging offshore leads

The local market held morning gains at noon after fresh record highs on Wall Street on strong economic data from China, Europe and the United States.

At 1205 AEST, the S&P/ASX200 index was up 0.79 per cent to 5,086.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 0.82 per cent to 5,102.8 points.

US manufacturing data and better-than-expected unemployment claims sent the S&P across the 1700 line to close at an all-time high of 1706 overnight Thursday.

CMC Markets analyst Ric Spooner said the US economy had moved centre stage as a key driver for Australian and international markets last night with a strong manufacturing index and a healthy drop in jobless claims.

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